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Familiar Faces at Johnson's

You've been coming to Johnson's for years, and you see familiar faces everytime you visit, but you don't really know much about them, or why we call them our experts.  Well, here's your chance to learn a little bit about our staff...

From the Top:

Marty Johnson

Marty is probably the most familiar face at Johnson's Garden Center. Since he can remember he's been at Johnson's, working with his Grandfather Orie and Father Harold Johnson growing up, he learned "the roots" at a very young age.  Besides 50+ years of experience, he has had formal training from K-State, and learned from industry and K-State Horticulture experts.  Marty is a Certified Nurseryman from the Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association, as well as a "Colleague" from The Netherlands Institute for Professional Knowledge in Flower Bulbs.  Marty's favorite recommendations for customers include:

  • Velma's Royal DeLight Crapemyrtle because of it's great purple color, dwarf (4ft.) plant, and winter hardiness.
  • Cotton Boll Compost because it does wonders for soil.
  • FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil because of the amazing results he has seen from this product.
  • Hi-Yield Killzall because it makes gardening easy.
  • Hi-Yield Spreader Sticker because of the aid it lends to other liquids.


Jeremy Johnson

Much like Marty, it seems that Jeremy has always been a part of Johnson's. Starting at age 14, Jeremy's knowledge and expertise of all things horticulture is remarkable.  After high school, Jeremy attended K-State and Wichita State, finishing with his MBA from Friends University in 2006.  As a self professed "Plant Geek", Jeremy recommends the Viburnum, as "they're the most underused group of shrubs", they've got a lot to offer. As a homebrewer himself, he also recommends everything in Johnson's beer and wine making section. 

From Ridge Road:

Chris Helten
Store Manager

Chris came to us from Helten Gardens where he was the General Manager for more than a decade.  Prior to his stint at Helten's, he was the Landscape Manager at Jackson's Greenhouse in Topeka. His education comes from K-State, where he earned a degree in Agriculture/Horticulture in 1995. He loves working in all aspects of horticulture, landscaping design/building, greenhouse production, nursery sales and garden center management.
Chris recommends Bradfield Fertilizer to customers. It's an alfalfa peletized fertilizer that works awesome in shrub and tree plantings and especially in annual beds for a great slow-release of nutrients all season long.

From 21st & Woodlawn:

Wes Hostetler
Store Manager

Wes has been at Johnson's since 2001, but has over 12 years of garden center experience. With a farming background, he is passionate about plants, and helping customers become successful gardeners.  The question he is asked the most by customers is What is Johnson's Plant Warranty? "Very simply, if a customer plants the tree and shrub they've purchased, it is warrantied for 6 months from the date of purchase.  If Johnson's Planting Department plants it, there is a one year warranty  at purchase value, and a free planting!"

Sallie Strole
Asst. Store Manager

Sallie has been at Johnson's since 1983, and is currently our longest tenured employee.  She is a great asset to our company as she is extremely knoweledgeable in anything and everything related to gardening.  Through reading, researching and listening, Sallie has "learned something from everyone I've worked with." Her favorite recommendation to customers is currently Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew, which is a great, new ready to use natural solution for geranium budworms.  When asked what her most frequently asked question from customers is, she replied "Are you and Alisa sisters? - No, we've just worked together for so long, just like a married couple, we've come to look more alike."

Karen Hull
Greenhouse Manager

Karen has been at Johnson's since 1994, and wears several different hats in our company.  First, she runs the Greenhouse at our East location, and she is also a key part in our Christmas decorating.  Karen has been gardening since she can remember, and some of her favorite memories include gardening with her grandmother.  She strives to continually increase her knowledge by being hands on, experimenting on what grows best in the Kansas environment, as well as learning from others.  When customers ask her what they should plant, she attempts to get to know the customer.  She finds out what level of care the plant will get, and where it will go.  By using this approach, Karen is able to help the customers succeed, which makes them happy gardeners!


From West 13th:

Joanna Welker-Ediger
Assistant Manager

Joanna started at Johnson's in 2010 and has been a fantastic asset to our team. With a Master's degree in Teaching, Joanna's passion is helping our customers learn how to garden and teaching them ways to simplify it all. She recognizes the potential for information overload and wants to keep you from becoming intimidated. 

Joanna also oversees our hands-on workshops and does a great job of creating displays, making them both inspiring and educational. Her favorite plants are either rose bushes or vegetable plants. As she grew up growing them, they bring back great memories of childhood. Joanna's 'must-have' item for all customers are Herbs. "They look great and smell fantastic. What's nice about them is you can plant them inside in a pot, or right outside your door so you can enjoy them often!"